When we left Ella and her three children, a kindly neighbor had driven them to the doctor’s office. Charlie, the baby, had eaten glass and was bleeding. Let’s join them in the doctor’s office.
Ella ushered the two girls up the steps and through the wooden door ahead of her.
A nurse dressed in a crisp white uniform and cap stepped from behind a desk.
“Oh my!” She gasped when she saw the child. “Doctor Davis, come quick,” she called over her shoulder.
“Please help my baby!” Ella cried.
The nurse reached for the bundle and Ella relinquished him into her arms.
“Tell me what happened.” The nurse quickened her steps toward the examining room.
Ella and the two girls followed. “I was outside hanging out washin’ when my oldest girl came screaming for me and said Charlie was bleeding.” She swiped a blood-stained hand across her weary eyes. “I was only gone for a little bit.”
The nurse laid the baby on a narrow table as Doctor Davis strode into the room.
He took one look at the baby and reached for cotton gauze. “Nurse Ingrid, fetch me the long tweezers, please.” He glanced up at Ella. “Your baby ate glass?”
She nodded, wringing her hands. “I don’t even know what broke or how it happened, I just got here as quick as I could.” Fresh tears streamed down her face.
The somber look on his face caused her heart to stop.
“This is very serious, ma’am.” He reached for the tweezers. “Nurse, hold him while I try to get these tiny shards out of his little mouth.”
Charlie kicked and screamed while the doctor worked. Ella moved to the table and helped hold his legs.
“Please tell me he will be all right,” she begged.
The doctor looked her in the eye. “I wish I could, ma’am. I wish I could.”
After what seemed like an eternity, Doctor Davis laid the tweezers on a tray and dipped cotton into a basin of water. He gently washed the inside of the baby’s mouth.
Ella sank into a chair near the table and dropped her head into her hands. The two girls moved to her side. Tears had subsided and Charlie finally closed his tiny eyes and slept.
They looked up when Walter dashed through the door. “What in tarnation has happened?”
While the doctor explained, the nurse finished cleaning the baby, wrapped him in a clean blanket, then laid him in Ella’s arms.
Ella barely comprehended the final words the doctor uttered to Walter. “He isn’t out of the woods by a longshot, sir. We don’t know how much he ingested or what it will do to his guts and stomach.”
Walter crossed the room to Ella and placed a trembling hand on her shoulder. “What can we do?”
TO BE CONTINUED
FINAL EPISODE SUNDAY 23RD